In addition to the oysters, friends (“Fancypants” and — new to Forking DC fame — “Lady Red”) and I loved the spinach and crab dip, which came with what looked like over-sized pita chips. The dip did not skimp on the crab — always a good thing since I hate when places call something a crab dip when it really should be called “essence of crab” dip. We also liked the smoked trout rillettes, served with its own carb-delivery vehicle. In simple terms, rillettes is meat or fish that has been transformed into a pate or spreadable paste by adding a hefty amount of salt and slow-cooking the protein in fat and other goodness. Don’t be alarmed or grossed out. When done well, rillettes is tasty and a perfect food to snack on while enjoying a glass of wine. Blackbyrd does a really nice job with its version, topped with fish roe. It’s salty, creamy, and rich. On a prior visit, I tried the lobster roll. It came with a generous serving of lobster on a nice buttery roll. These are both hallmarks of a good lobster roll. The problem was that I found the lobster to be a bit under-seasoned.
I’ve only been to Blackbyrd during the week or before 10pm on Friday. I can’t speak to the late-night vibe and crowd. If it’s anything similar to its neighboring bar/restaurants, it’ll probably get very crowded, very quickly. Keeping that in mind, here are some parting thoughts about Blackbyrd.